One man water cannon test is a photo book by Swiss photographer Eric Bachmann. The photo series from 1969 documents the self-test with one of the first water cannons acquired in Switzerland.

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  • Stretch goal: CHF 6’800
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This is what it's all about.

The first purchase of 4 water cannons for 600,000 CHF, to fight rebellious youths, caused strong controversy in 1969, not only among the general population. Even within the police, there was disagreement about the execution of such aggressive measures. The vehicle, equipped with a tank of 4000 liters, was capable of spraying permanently on a crowd of people for 3 minutes. The vehicle was led by 5 emergency personnel.

The situation brought Ringier’s editor-in-chief Rober Naef on the plan to test such a water cannon for his readers by letting himself be sprayed several times by this «anti-riot machine» by editor Peter Fasler. Inside the vehicle’s barred driver’s cabin, editor Peter Fasler operated the water cannon. The well-known Swiss photographer Eric Bachmann documented the test.

Eric Bachmann (1940-2019) was born in Zurich. In 1956, he began a three-year apprenticeship as a photographer at the Meiner photo studio, which primarily served the upscale clientele of Zürichberg and the Zünfter with stylish portraits. From 1959, Eric Bachmann participated in the development of the photo department of the Swiss television DRS, but left the permanent employment already in 1962 and worked as a freelance photographer.

From 1963 to 2001, Bachmann undertook reporting trips to all five continents and climatic zones. He published in magazines, newspapers and books, realized exhibitions about Shetland, Leningrad, the 68’s and the Gränich Forest. In addition, Eric Bachmann worked regularly on a freelance basis for SF DRS.

Our project is special because ...

With this publication, Bachmann’s photographs of this test will be made public in their entirety for the first time. Even without words, they reflect the absurdity of this test arrangement and the brutality emanating from this fighting machine. The statement behind it is political and subtle. A contemporary document that has unfortunately lost none of its topicality to this day.

The book is aimed at those interested in historical-political-social issues in Switzerland, as well as those interested in photography and artists’ books in general. It will be published by everyedition. everyedition is a publishing house for design and artists’ books by various authors from Switzerland and abroad.

This is what We need backing for.

Making a book means a lot of work and time. Then there are also the printing costs. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us at the moment to fully support this project ourselves, as we do not have the financial resources. Therefore, we are dependent on your support for the realization of the book project.